With the state of today’s economy, keeping your brand stronger and thriving is more important than ever. Faced with uncertain job security, shrinking salaries, and overall economic uncertainty, many people are opting to abandon their “favorite brands” for more affordable discounted or generic brands. Because of this, building brand value is more important today than it ever has been.
Taking into account the possible brand damage caused by discounting prices, or offering “buy one get one free” type offers, how exactly does one build brand value and not impact their brand negatively? Here are two examples going on right now that one should consider:
1) Protecting Customers: The auto industry figured out very fast that they had to move quickly in order to make people comfortable with the idea of spending descretionary income on an automobile. Their industry at large, significatnly down in sales, wisely put together plans and began marketing the idea of “payment protection”. Depending on the manufacturer, they are offering anything from payment assistance if you lose your job, the ability to return your car without impact to your credit and even payment assistance due to life changes (i.e. bankruptcy, death, disability, etc.).
This is a great way to build value in your brand, maintain the quality of what you sell in the eyes of the consumer and at the same time build a fanatic base of customers that understand you relate to their current situation.
2) Use Add Ons: Perhaps one of best examples of this brand building option is Apple and the iPhone App Store. They have pioneered an industry where by the consumer buys a product and then continues to add to it by purchasing programs for their phone, and MP3’s in the iTunes store. Add on features to your product or service are a wonderful way to build the value of your brand. Consumers, faced with the choice of purchasing product “A” from a competitor, or your product that is comparable, BUT also offers a wealth of add on features, will almost always choose your product. Even if your product is more expensive, the perceived value of the add ons will win out every time.
These are just two small examples of ways you can add to the value of your brand. This is a very important key to brand success this day in age and if you stop and examine what’s going on in branding and media, you’ll see it popping up everywhere.
What are some other value added branding ideas that might work for companies in this economy?